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Wheezing Lunatic

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

The Malazan discussion thread!

Welcome! Hopefully all you who have read the books will jump in and discuss the books!


~ RULES
- No trolling. Be polite and respectful!
- No textspeak, tYpInG LiEk Dis.
- SPOILERS may be found here.


~ LINKS
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a ten-part book series by Steven Erikson. Though all ten books have been delivered by Mr. Erikson, the story still goes on. There are two trilogies coming up, as well as the six-book Novels of the Malazan Empire by Ian C. Esslemont, the co-creator of the Malazan universe.
Malazan Empire forum - A place for more discussion
Malazan Encyclopedia - still incomplete, but contains a wealth of info concerning the series.
Malazan Reread of the Fallen - Tor.com reread and answers by SE/ICE to fans' questions.


~ UPDATES

- Assail by Ian C. Esslemont has a synopsis, via Amazon:
Quote:
The enthralling new epic novel of the Malazan Empire by the bestselling author of Return of the Crimson Guard.
Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adveturers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings. Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers to mysteries that Shimmer, second in command, wonders should even be sought. Arriving also, part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. And with him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and who cannot remember his past life, yet who commands far more power than he really should. Also venturing north is said to be a mighty champion, a man who once fought for the Malazans, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade.

And lastly, far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T'lan Imass, will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail is the final chapter in the epic story of the Empire of Malaz.


- Stonewielder reread ongoing at Tor.com! Here's Chapter 5. part 2.

- Willful Child, an SF short story by Erikson at Tor.com. A gift for Malazan fans!

- Blood and Bone by Ian C. Esslemont cover
Blood and Bone by Ian C. Esslemont
In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted yet another expedition to tame the neighboring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some name the Queen of Witches, and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata. Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs -- but it was the voices out of that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers mount an invasion of the neighboring jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.

To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail whom his men call, the Grey Ghost. This warleader takes the tribes on a raid like none other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands. While word comes to K'azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer... none other than Ardata herself.

-- Forge of Darkness prelude and excerpts over at Tor.com! Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5
Likewise, here's an intro to the series, written by Erikson himself.

-- The Wurms of Blearmouth, the latest Bauchelain & Korbal novella
The Wurms of Blearmouth
Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants will thrive in palaces and one room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct, and all propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery.

But we’ll leave all that behind as we plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter’s End, our most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village above the strand and lying at the foot of a majestic castle, and therein make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep.

Make welcome, then, to Spendrugle’s memorable residents, including the man who should have stayed dead, the woman whose prayers should never have been answered, the tax collector everyone ignores, the ex-husband town militiaman who never married, the beachcomber who lives in his own beard, and the now singular lizard cat who used to be plural, and the girl who likes to pee in your lap. And of course, hovering over all, the denizen of the castle keep, Lord –

Ah, but there lies this tale, and so endeth this blurb, with one last observation: when tyrants collide, they have dinner.

And a good time is had by all.

-- Forge of Darkness cover here, and synopsis
Forge of Darkness
It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power… and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, longs for ascendency and Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but she has taken another Consort, Lord Draconus, from the faraway Dracon Hold. The idea of this union sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold.



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WITNESS.
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

To start the ball rolling...
HOOD IS AWESOME.
Loved him when I first started Memories of Ice, loved him even more in The Bonehunters and Reaper's Gale, and most especially in the last three books.

I have many more favorites, but this will do for now.

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WITNESS.
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I'm still on the process of finishing the main series but I gotta say this is one of the best I read. There are a few weak points but I really enjoyed it.

I like how the entire series doesn't just focus on one or two stories. It's more complicated and the outcomes are hard to predict.

I like Hood too! <3
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Ping of Death
I'm still on the process of finishing the main series but I gotta say this is one of the best I read. There are a few weak points but I really enjoyed it.

I like how the entire series doesn't just focus on one or two stories. It's more complicated and the outcomes are hard to predict.

I like Hood too! <3


I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

The books are thick, but I KNOW you will finish it. smile

*nods in agreement* That's one of the things I like, too! It's a story on an epic scale, so you can be sure there's not just one person involved, not just one continent. There are many realms involved in this. And they tie up neatly, too. smile

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WITNESS.
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Chouryou

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

The books are thick, but I KNOW you will finish it. smile

*nods in agreement* That's one of the things I like, too! It's a story on an epic scale, so you can be sure there's not just one person involved, not just one continent. There are many realms involved in this. And they tie up neatly, too. smile

<<<<<<<<<<

WITNESS.
And even within those stories, there's still more stories to discover. You gotta have a good memory when you read this series because even the most insignificant characters and events in an earlier book would have a huge effect on a later book.

What did you think of Gardens of the Moon? Erikson jumped too fast from one scene or POV to another but it forces you to pay attention to what's going on. It reads like a movie script and I'm glad he didn't use the same style in his next books.

I liked how Raest battled with those dragons. It was a good introduction to what the Jaghut can do even without their full power.
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Ping of Death
And even within those stories, there's still more stories to discover. You gotta have a good memory when you read this series because even the most insignificant characters and events in an earlier book would have a huge effect on a later book.

What did you think of Gardens of the Moon? Erikson jumped too fast from one scene or POV to another but it forces you to pay attention to what's going on. It reads like a movie script and I'm glad he didn't use the same style in his next books.

I liked how Raest battled with those dragons. It was a good introduction to what the Jaghut can do even without their full power.

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

True, true. Though after reading all ten books I felt as if some threads were left dangling. But I understand because Erikson's approach was not to resolve everything. It was merely a glimpse of a particular period in history.

Gardens of the Moon was confusing at first. I was wondering what this-and-that were, and there were statements that do not have any meaning at first, but upon a reread you discover that you've been in fact warned about other events! Few explanations are given, and the reader needs patience if he/she wants answers.

I read some opinions in another forum and found out some people feel that the Azath was a Deus Ex Machina sort of thing. Same goes for a certain furry female in Book 6. I can understand the arguments, but the Azath are also a balance to the forces that exist in the universe. If one looks past the Azath's DEM tendencies, well... they do arise where there is power.

Raest is just pure badass. SPOILER. He slaps down five dragons. He shakes off seven warrens. He survives after being given a cusser facial, though the Azath eventually takes him down. And he didn't need help! I like Jaghut.

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WITNESS.
I've recently finished the 5th book heart I love the series to bits but I have to take breaks between books, since they're really heavy reading and I find I get burned out quickly sweatdrop

I also have a couple books from Ian C Esslemont's series in that universe but I haven't had a chance to read them yet.
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Sylph
I've recently finished the 5th book heart I love the series to bits but I have to take breaks between books, since they're really heavy reading and I find I get burned out quickly sweatdrop

I also have a couple books from Ian C Esslemont's series in that universe but I haven't had a chance to read them yet.


I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

Yay, another MBotF fan!

Yeah, it's pretty heavy. I reread the first eight books twice before reading the last two, since there are a lot of hints dropped, too many characters and storylines that are actually relevant to the main plot...

I haven't read Esslemont, too. His books are next on my reading list.
smile

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Chouryou

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

True, true. Though after reading all ten books I felt as if some threads were left dangling. But I understand because Erikson's approach was not to resolve everything. It was merely a glimpse of a particular period in history.

Gardens of the Moon was confusing at first. I was wondering what this-and-that were, and there were statements that do not have any meaning at first, but upon a reread you discover that you've been in fact warned about other events! Few explanations are given, and the reader needs patience if he/she wants answers.

I read some opinions in another forum and found out some people feel that the Azath was a Deus Ex Machina sort of thing. Same goes for a certain furry female in Book 6. I can understand the arguments, but the Azath are also a balance to the forces that exist in the universe. If one looks past the Azath's DEM tendencies, well... they do arise where there is power.

Raest is just pure badass. SPOILER. He slaps down five dragons. He shakes off seven warrens. He survives after being given a cusser facial, though the Azath eventually takes him down. And he didn't need help! I like Jaghut.

<<<<<<<<<<

WITNESS.
I was impressed with the concept of having the Azath to balance out everything. I haven't encountered any series yet that has that element. You'd only find these things in ancient myths.

I also liked the fact that Erikson doesn't try to explain everything. If only he has better fight scenes, it would be perfect.
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Sylph
I've recently finished the 5th book heart I love the series to bits but I have to take breaks between books, since they're really heavy reading and I find I get burned out quickly sweatdrop

I also have a couple books from Ian C Esslemont's series in that universe but I haven't had a chance to read them yet.
I'm still on the 8th book. Yeah it's pretty heavy and I love it all the more because of that. I haven't read any of Esselmont's work yet but they said he has better imagery than Erikson.
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Ping of Death
I was impressed with the concept of having the Azath to balance out everything. I haven't encountered any series yet that has that element. You'd only find these things in ancient myths.

I also liked the fact that Erikson doesn't try to explain everything. If only he has better fight scenes, it would be perfect.

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

But maybe we just haven't encountered those concepts in other books? XD

True dat. I prefer that approach. If he did lots of massive info dumps, I'd probably dump the series.

Fight scenes: Swords clashed in a blur...blur...someone was stabbed, intestines blah blah blah. I agree that it's lacking. But I still love the series.

Well, there are all kinds of mysteries that have not been answered yet, and I think it's better that those mysteries don't get cleared up; or if they do, not everything would be revealed. Because it would take the fun out, you know?

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Chouryou

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

But maybe we just haven't encountered those concepts in other books? XD

True dat. I prefer that approach. If he did lots of massive info dumps, I'd probably dump the series.

Fight scenes: Swords clashed in a blur...blur...someone was stabbed, intestines blah blah blah. I agree that it's lacking. But I still love the series.

Well, there are all kinds of mysteries that have not been answered yet, and I think it's better that those mysteries don't get cleared up; or if they do, not everything would be revealed. Because it would take the fun out, you know?

<<<<<<<<<<

WITNESS.
Oh don't get me started on the one-on-one fight scenes. They're terrible. I've actually taken note how many times he mentioned the phrase 'the swords were a blur'. Even in huge battles he uses the word 'wedge' a lot. I can't even remember any memorable fight scene he has written.
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Ping of Death
Oh don't get me started on the one-on-one fight scenes. They're terrible. I've actually taken note how many times he mentioned the phrase 'the swords were a blur'. Even in huge battles he uses the word 'wedge' a lot. I can't even remember any memorable fight scene he has written.

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

Well, there's always Quick Ben and his magic shows (*fangirl squee*)... and Hood...
Oh, wait, you meant swordfights. Personally I prefer his take on Kalam's fights; they're much better illustrated, since Kalam goes through a lot of enemies, in comparison to, say, a certain fight between a Toblakai and an Edur. Kalam's battles against the Claw, IMO, did not need too much description since he fights too many of the assassins.

I agree, most of Erikson's one-on-one swordfights are a blur.

For me, though, the huge battles have okay descriptions.
biggrin

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What do you think of Kruppe and Iskaral?
Chouryou's avatar

Wheezing Lunatic

Ping of Death
What do you think of Kruppe and Iskaral?

I am not yet done.
>>>>>>>>>>

Kruppe is confusing, but fun; I like that he's not really a very powerful person (in terms of physical and magical strength), yet is able to confound people left, right, center, and diagonally.

Iskaral is hilarious and crazy and possibly using that characteristic to confuse people even more.

THEIR MULES

I try to understand what they're saying, since a lot of hints are hidden in their passages. Most of the time, with Kruppe, I give up.

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WITNESS.

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